A not uncommon sight in my studio - bins piled up with warps, spools, general...messiness. While it may look messy to someone else, there is a certain level of organization in the mess. Because I never work on just one project, one warp at a time. My approach to getting everything I do, done, is to have several items that progress, in their turn, depending on a number of factors.
I have always been really good at working to deadlines. I can 'see' my schedule, I have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done next in order to progress efficiently. There are times when I work in batches, collecting things to the point of, say, wet finishing, then doing a big batch of wet finishing. Like I did yesterday.
Doug said he could go pressing today, so yesterday I ran four dozen mats with matching runners, plus the 14 towels I wove last summer, through the washer and dryer. This makes more economical sense than running only a dozen mats through the washer - that's a waste of time, energy and water/electricity. Much more economical/efficient to do two dozen mats at a time.
I tend to go on a warp winding binge. I get into a rhythm, filling boxes or bins with warps to be done later. As I design more colour ways for a particular design, I push myself further out of my comfort zone in terms of the colours I use together. I work from my stash, adding another level of challenge - what can I do with what I have?
Then I tend to weave them off as quickly as I can.
I've gotten good at scheduling. I know how long it takes me to do a task so I have a good idea of what I can accomplish (when I'm not sick) in a given time. Sometimes the available time is just 15 minutes. What can I accomplish in 15 minutes? I can wind bobbins. Pull colours for another warp. Clean up. Make up a yarn order. I don't ever say "oh I only have 15 minutes - not enough time to do anything productive". Those 15 minutes here and there can add up. I can even weave a place mat and a half in 15 minutes. I can wind a mat warp in 20. How do I know? Because I pay attention to such things.
I don't watch the clock to see when I can stop working. I watch the clock to see how much time I have and what I can fit into that time period.
A friend has told me that I get more done when I'm having a bad day than she gets done when she is having a good day. But she does different things than what I do. It's never a good idea to compare yourself to someone else because you never know what is really going on beneath the surface.
What I do say is that if you like my results, you might like to take a look at my processes. Because what I do and how I do it is no secret.
I also do a lot of my thinking when I am in the studio, working when only surface attention is required. People frequently tell me that they can't make more than one of anything because they get bored. I never get bored when I'm weaving and I almost always make multiples. I get into the zone and weaving becomes a kind of working meditation for me.
My problem is that as I age and find my body wearing out I still think I'm 35 with all the energy and enthusiasm of that 35 year old. Well, I still have the enthusiasm, which is part of the problem. I'm slowing down, my energy isn't the same as it was 30 mumble years ago.
But I hope that as I enter my 7th decade in a couple of years that I can at the very least retain my enthusiasm without becoming frustrated at my reduced energy levels...